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AN ACADEMIC CASE STUDY | NOV. 2016

LAYERS

An add-on for businesses within the Yelp mobile app, offering a new approach to customer service by guiding customers through the ordering process. LAYERS will appeal to the global audience by allowing businesses to build trust and loyalty over time through transparent content.

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LAYERS

PROPOSAL

LAYERS

For P.F. Chang's, ‘Why they do what they do’ is not clearly communicated to the public, which negatively affect their plans to expand their franchise in certain locations and this creates a lack of understanding and impact among customers.

Based off of this, we wanted to focus on re-aligning the brand and breaking the misperception of certain customers to appeal to the global audience for further expansion. We focused more on the idea of clarifying true brand promise through word of mouth rather than customers becoming brand ambassadors, as this is not a branding project and P.F. Chang’s brand in itself is fairly well grounded.

ROLE

Strategy

My role for this project was leading the overall strategy, developing the content and wireframes, as well as providing insight on the user interface.

Our goal was to redefine the dining experience in order to reinforce the company's true brand value through mobile ordering. We focused on delivering information by chunking content with a card-based user interface so customers aren't overwhelmed.

LAYERS

FRAME

Customer Value

The public perception of P.F. Chang's brand limited the company from expanding globally, as people believed they were simply mimicking Asian culture. Shifting this misperception towards their true brand value will allow P.F. Chang's to reach a global audience.

The service at P.F. Chang’s is crucial to creating a memorable dining experience for their customers. With this, we aimed to design a digital touchpoint that provides insights that are typically overlooked during the ordering process. By designing for the dining experience around the value of customer service, we realign the focus towards customers allowing their brand promise to spread through word of mouth.

LAYERS

SOLUTION

Extending the Service Period

For Yelp, we aimed to extend their service period since they are commonly used before (search) and after (review) restaurant visits. By offering an ordering service, we are able to have customers use Yelp during their visits.

PHYSICAL & DIGITAL

Menu with Digital Cues

We saw value in implementing the scanning feature because we wanted to offer insightful information through a digital touchpoint that wouldn’t be offered on the physical menu, and provide a service that would be simple enough to use.

This add-on is intended for mobile phones, as we found most people were already carrying their phones to restaurants.

DISCOVERY

Entry Point

The discovery of the feature starts with the customer visiting the restaurant: if his or her location setting is on, Yelp detects their arrival at the restaurant and the customer receives a notification on his or her phone, inviting them to try LAYERS. Alternatively, once seated, the customer can discover LAYERS through the secondary menu with digital cues, visit the Yelp app, and on P.F. Chang’s page, access LAYERS.

We decided to incorporate Yelp’s branding style into LAYERS in anticipation that other restaurants in the future may decide to take on the LAYERS feature within Yelp.

SCANNING ORDERS

Curating Your Menu

We saw value in implementing the scanning feature because we wanted to offer insightful information through a digital format that wouldn’t be available on the physical menu, in addition to providing a service that would be enjoyable. Rather than including the entire menu, having people narrow down their options on their phone by scanning their preferences allows people to organize their orders efficiently.

ORDERING QUEUE

Layers of Content

We intentionally designed the interface so only people who would be interested or curious enough in certain types of content would reach such information. We acknowledge that most customers will not explicitly talk about the company's value to others, but this solution in itself acts as a conversation starter to influence people to visit and reconsider their opinions.

ORDERING QUEUE

Reinforce Brand Value

The origin of ingredients section is derived from P.F. Chang's food philosophy, Farm to Wok, which is presented on their website. The idea was to familiarize the customers with this philosophy by including the company's true value in a subtle way, slowly bringing more exposure to Farm to Wok.

We included Tips from Yelp, a feature on Yelp which allows yelpers to share comments about their experiences. We decided to apply Tips rather than reviews, as most reviews are about the restaurant and not specific to each meal.

ORDERING

Customer Value

Each features are included to increase perceived value, such as presenting a preview of the receipt, to offer an incentive for people to continue using this solution, eventually forming a tribe over time. One of the key aspects of this solution is how consistently and efficiently we are able to deliver information to customers. This is where the digital aspect beats the human aspect of ordering, by unveiling content according to the customer’s desire.

REFLECTION

Transition to the Digital World

The goal was to include truthful information that isn't usually found on regular menus, as this transparency builds mutual trust between business and people. Not only offering a solution for restaurants, but also affording opportunities for other types of businesses that are on Yelp allows this solution to develop over time.

We strived to design a solution that will act as a transition to a new form of behavior within the dining experience. I believe user interface will be become part of our environment in the near future, thus our intent was to spark conversations and familiarize the world with the idea of digitization.

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